NEWS   

Report by Programme Unit

 

 

National Sitrep No.04_End ##

 

Media Release: Relief to Reef, Anuta, Tikopia and Duff Islands

Date: 29/10/2017

Severe Weather Event

and/ or Natural Hazard: Cyclone Donna & Tinakula Volcanic Ash fall

 

EVENT:

Tikopia, Anuta and Duff Islands have been experiencing an on-going critical food shortage after Cyclone Donna damaged root crops in early May 2017.

Reef Islands are currently experiencing a critical water shortage due to widespread ash-fall contamination of their water supplies following the minor eruption of Tinakula volcano on Saturday 21st October 2017.

 

RESPONSE:

NDMO is facilitating the food relief response of 40 tonne of rice to travel to Tikopia, Anuta and Duff Islands on the MV Onogou for 2593 affected people. 

NDMO is facilitating the water relief of 11, 790 cantons of bottled water. The majority has been loaded on the MV. Onogou. The remaining water will be shipped this week via another shipping vessel. Water relief will be distributed to 6485 affected people in Reef Islands.

 

NZAid and DFAT provided the water relief. SIG provided the food relief and all logistical costs.

Medical supplies will be unloaded at Lata Port. 

NDMO volunteers will be deployed along with the relief effort supplies to assist in distribution of goods and further assessments.

The Geological team will disembark at Lata and report to PDMO and NDMO. 

The Response Deployment will last from 29/10/2017 -11/11/2017. 

 

UPDATE:

The MV Onogou completed loading at 11.30pm Saturday 28th October. 

The MV Onogou is not a chartered vessel and will follow its normal schedule through the islands with community OBM Canoes engaged by NDMO to distribute goods.  

GENERAL ADVICE:

Be careful to avoid outbreaks of diarrhoea by maintaining good personal and toilet hygiene and not drinking dirty water OR EATING unwashed fruits for example local apples which are now in season.

NDMO encourages the public to take wise decisions to remain safe, strong and healthy during this time.

Check our website www.ndmo.gov.sb for further updates and listen to SIBC and other radio stations at main news times.

 

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Media Release: 25 October 2017

National Disaster Management Office

Honiara, Solomon Islands

 

Temotu’s Tinakula Health Update: Ash-fall reducing across Reef Island while water shortage continues

 

Reports from Temotu Province, Reef Islands say that ash-fall has now largely stopped in Fenulola Group and other parts of Reef Islands and that communities are now experiencing heavy rain.

 

Reports from general pubic suggest communities on Santa Cruz are now experiencing some sulphur smell.

 

Water Contamination due to ash fall: Widespread water shortage exists now across reef islands and Santa Cruz due to contamination of drinking water wells and tanks. Quick thinking by leaders in some communities who disconnected the down pipes from the tanks before the ash fall avoided wider contamination of water supply. Community members have reported that underground water sources like the one in Tanga, Reef Islands, have also been affected. Currently many communities are without uncontaminated drinking water and are relying on coconuts for drinking.

 

Generally, if water taste and colour are normal and you can see very little ash or no ash in the water this means that the water is safe to drink. It is recommended that if possible children and babies drink young coconut or breast milk at this time. If the colour of the water has changed and the water has a metallic taste then it is recommended that you do not use this for drinking water. Other normal uses of water like washing vegetables are ok. Using contaminated water for cooking rise is not ok.

 

Health Affects due to Ash fall and Hygiene: Red Eye and some skin irritation (scratching/ sores) are being reported as impacts of exposure to ash are having an effect on physical health. If new exposure to ash occurs, wash affected area. If ash comes in contact with eyes, clean with water to remove particles of ash and avoid scratching. Go to the clinic if eyes become very infected.

 

Be careful to avoid outbreaks of diarrhea by maintaining good personal and toilet hygiene and not drinking dirty water OR EATING unwashed fruits for example local apples which are now in season.

 

Avoid breathing ash. Cover nose and mouth with damp cloth while cleaning up ash. Ash can cause flu-like symptoms of heavy dry coughing, chest irritation, head spin and vomiting.

 

NDMO encourages the public to take wise decisions to remain safe, strong and healthy during this time. Check our website for further updates and listen to SIBC and other radio stations at main news times.

 

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Media Release: 23 October 2017

National Disaster Management Office

Honiara, Solomon Islands

 

Temotu’s Volcano Tinakula Erupts: Ash cloud reaches Reef Islands headed toward capital Lata

Temotu Province, Solomon Islands: Initial activity was recorded by the Melanesia Volcano Network, the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department at 6.20am with ash and gas reaching heights of 35, 000 feet (10.7 kilometers) above sea level. Tinakula’s eruption is classed as Category Three, which means a minor eruption. Tinakula Island is uninhabited so there is no immediate threat to people on the island however risk relates to the trade winds carrying ash further to nearby islands.

CURRENT WARNINGS: MET service has issued a warning for aviation.  

HEALTH AND SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS: NDMO has issued a number of public instructions on how to remain safe and healthy.

NDMO: HEALTH INSTRUCTIONS

Volcanic ash is made up of very small pieces of ash that we can breathe into our lungs and that can create irritations on our skin or in our eyes. They can also be toxic and therefore create a health risk through contamination of food and water supply.

  • Eye irritation: Eye irritation can be common because of the small and sharp pieces of ash in the air. These can scratch the eyes creating painful irritations and Red Eye Infection (conjunctivitis). Try to rinse with clean water, avoid scratching and treat Red Eye (conjunctivitis).
  • Breathing Difficulty: Ash is very small and therefore it can reach into our lungs as we breathe. This can be a problem for children, elderly and anyone with an existing breathing problem. To avoid or lesson affects, please cover your mouth and nose with a cloth, especially damp clothe. Breathing problems related to ash can result in tightness of breath and heavy coughing.
  • Skin irritation: The ash has fine particles that carry toxins that can make the skin itchy. Scratching can further create a problem, as new infections will occur. Rinse your body with water if possible.
  • Ash and water supply: Ash gets into your water supply and can contaminate this. Treat all ash as having toxins that can be harmful to health when swallowed. If ash has settled on your copper roof and then it rains for around one hour or more, your rainwater will be contaminated. Try to cover water catchment sources, disconnect down pipes from tanks before ash settles on and gets washed into tanks by rain. Try to drink from running water sources like streams or drink coconut. Remember your animals will be affected too.

 

NDMO: GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

Volcanic ash can travel far carried on high level winds and can be very hard to clean up. It can have significant impacts on safety of houses, use of engines and be damaging to food crops.

  • Cleaning Ash: To clean ash away from homes and roofs, try to broom while dry (covering your nose and mouth with damp cloth) or use damp clothe. Ash turns to a glue-like material is wet and will be very hard to clean.
  • Danger to Houses: If a lot of ash falls on roofs this can be dangerous as it is very heavy and the roof can fall down. Keep roofs clean and if rebuilding make tall and pointy to help ash fall off.
  • Ash and Crops: Clean all vegetables as ash can land on the leaves too and are not good to eat. Ash can initially be toxic and many plants will be affected and die. Later, the ash will create more fertile soil.
  • What to do with Ash Rubbish: Do not dump ash in an area that is a water supply.
  • Engines:Ash can affect engines and air filters so be careful if using these. If heavy ash falls this can also affect visibility when driving.

VOLCANO AND CHANGING WEATHER:

The volcano and its ash change the weather conditions and can create thunderstorms and heavy rain. This can also lead to little landslides and muddy conditions. It may make reaching the gardens to collect food hard for some times so make sure you have some food stored.

BACKGROUND:

Currently, the ash cloud has travelled over much of Eastern Temotu Province, Reef Islands. Ash is carried on the wind that flows at a high level and this can be different to the direction of wind on the ground. Upper level wind is currently blowing westerly which will carry the ash toward Temotu’s capital, Lata. Currently ground level winds are travelling in a southeasterly direction. 

NDMO encourages the public to take wise decisions to remain safe, strong and healthy during this time. Check our website for further updates and listen to SIBC and other radio stations at main news times.

 

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Media Release

National Disaster Management Office, Honiara, Solomon Islands

October 13th 2017

 

“Home Safe Home” Successful Event for IDDRR

 

Honiara City Disaster Management Office, its partners and the general public celebrated International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction at the Town Council Grounds. Students from King George School and many members from the general pubic and partner organisations attended to make this day memorable and spread the key messages from this years’ “Home Safe Home” target theme.

 

Keynote speakers reflected on Solomon Islands past experiences of natural disasters, lessons learnt and goals and plans for our safe future. Stalls provided further information that people could take home to their families. 

During the Deputy Mayor’s speech everyone stood for one-mintue silence to pay tribute to the homes and lives that were lost during the April 2014 flash floods.

 

The PS MECDM reminded us all that the question of: “are our homes safe in a disaster?” is everyone’s responsibility.

 

The UN representative emphasized the importance and contribution to safeguarding our young people and their family’s future that the schools initiative makes. This is through the targeted learning activities and implementation of disaster management plans and awareness.

The UN representative also highlighted the role that the Sendai Seven Targets will play in focusing efforts of disaster risk reduction by reflecting on experiences of her childhood growing up in a high disaster risk area in Japan.

 

Participants from the Team Central Disaster Drama group entertained and educated us all on some of the main hazards both natural and manmade as well us some strategies and goals to plan for a safer future. This was a great performance and really had everyone laughing and listening hard. As we prepare for another cyclone season, we need to remember that natural and other disasters can happen at any time and to always be prepared.

 

The Honiara City Disaster Management Office and its partners wish to thank the public for this support and engagement in this program and to encourage everyone to take warnings seriously, take note of forecasts and act appropriately during severe weather events.

 

Natural hazards alone do not make disasters. Like our PS mentioned today, other key contributing factors contribute. We therefore all play our part an important role in helping keep our families, our communities and us safe and informed during extreme weather events.

 

If students wish to collect additional information for their studies they are encouraged to come see our research team at NDMO located in the blue building near Barak in Ranadi.

 

You can visit our website www.ndmo.gov.sb for further updates and information.

#switch2sendai #IDDR2017

 

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